Human body/X-ray/health (250886)
Credit: Max Pixel/Creative Commons

Some folks just have hypertension with normal cholesterol levels and are not obese. Others might have high cholesterol but no hypertension or obesity. On the other hand, some folks suffer from obesity but have normal cholesterol.

It is obvious that each person is different and must be treated individually. However, when patients have the three health deadly sins—hypertension, high cholesterol and obesity—this condition, known as the metabolic syndrome, predicts that they are candidates for stroke, heart disease, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.

A large percentage of Black women who have this syndrome also have insulin resistance. In such cases, insulin that is produced in the pancreas is not capable of moving glucose (sugar) from the blood to the many organs of the body that need it for fuel. The accumulation of the glucose is manifested as type 2 diabetes, which affects the kidneys, heart and other vital organs. This increase in glucose also leads to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which causes heart failure, kidney failure and stroke. Weight reduction in most cases is the answer to preventing these diseases.

I have treated many patients who had metabolic syndrome, and I have constantly reminded them that weight loss through diet and exercise can be a main prescription for better health. It seems that most folks are looking for medication rather than self-discipline. To ensure good health, one must think of the consequences of bad health. Just think of all the times spent in waiting rooms, at doctor appointments, in testing labs and ultimately in hospitals for preventable diseases.

The average person drinks 450 cans of soda a year. It seems that folks are addicted to carbonated, high-fructose beverages. We could save a heap of money by just drinking water. To prevent the metabolic syndrome, I would suggest

the following:

Avoid fast-food restaurants, with their high-calorie meals. If you have to fry it, don’t buy it. If you have to batter it, don’t flatter it. If you have to cream it, don’t even dream it. And Lord, if you have to butter it, don’t even mutter it!

Walk 30 minutes, slow or fast, five days a week.

Reduce stress with meditation daily. Attend Weight Watchers or some other such program if you need discipline regarding your food intake.

Just remember, metabolic syndrome is deadly. Hypertension, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes are all preventable, but it depends upon your desire to live not just a quantity of life but a good

quality of life.